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Rentaghost (1976-84)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Series 1, Episode 1, tx. 6/1/1976

Recently-deceased ghost Fred Mumford, barely in control of his supernatural powers, materialises in the middle of the road outside the offices of his new business, Rentaghost. He is interviewing spirits from the afterlife for jobs at the agency.

Somewhere in the afterlife, ghost Hubert Davenport, a Victorian gentleman, and poltergeist Timothy Claypole, a medieval jester, await their interviews. They descend to Earth, where Mumford explains the purpose of Rentaghost: to give people who failed in life a second chance to succeed in the afterlife, putting their supernatural abilities at the disposal of the still living. Mumford agrees to hire them.

Claypole and Davenport are baffled by modern technology: Claypole attempts to light a candle from an electric lamp. Landlord Harold Meaker arrives to collect the rent. Mumford at first mistakes him for another ghostly applicant, and Meaker is disturbed by the ghostly antics of Davenport and Claypole.

The trio travel by train to visit Mumford's parents, who do not know he is dead, to borrow money. Claypole and Davenport remain invisible to avoid suspicion. On the train, Claypole's fear of the train and inability to remain invisible panics their fellow passengers; Davenport, outraged by modern manners, transports himself back to the office.

At the office, Meaker demands the rent from Davenport, who summons Mumford back from his parents. Confusion ensues as Mumford is transported back and forth by Davenport and Claypole. He manages to borrow enough money from his parents to cover the rent, but Meaker is left with Mumford's parents' birdcage attached to his head. Davenport and Claypole help Mumford carry his belongings from his parents' house, returning to invisibility. Mumford's parents are astonished to see their son apparently levitating his luggage beside him.